Tuesday, June 11, 2013

[Tip Tuesday] How to Pick the Perfect Pearls

Have you guys ever gone to Hawaii and spot the handfuls of shops at tourist destinations where you get to pick your own oyster and try your luck at what kind of pearl(s) you would find inside? I tried my hand at one before and found a round little black pearl inside and made it into a pretty necklace.

If you are looking into owning a pair of pearl earrings or a string of pearl necklace, here are some tips to consider when picking (page 232, May 2013 In Style magazine):

1) Luster: The most important attribute of a pearl is its luster, or shine. Inexpensive pearls should glow, while more expensive pieces should positively radiate.

2) Shape: Pearls are never perfectly round, but classic spherical shapes are considered more desirable and cost more. Baroque, or oddly shaped pieces are a nontraditional alternative.

3) Size: Pearl size is measured in half millimeters; classic round ones can increase in price as much as 100 perfect per mm. The size most commonly sold is 7 to 7.5 mm.

4) Surface: High-quality pearls should not only shine but also be smooth and free of cracks, holes, bumps, or blemishes.

Here are some pretty pieces that I am lusting over:

Mikimoto Love Pendant
Mikimoto Pearl and Sapphire Earrings
Tiffany Aria Bracelet
One day, one day... :)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

[Tip Tuesday] Pretty Nail Arts Without the Extra Tools

Today's Tip Tuesday is another manicure related one. I am going to introduce you to some cool nail arts that I found, and how to do them free-hand without the extra tape, brushes, and other nail art tools.

The following 3 methods are found on page 312 of the April 2013 "In Style" magazine:

Graphic Triangles:
1) Slick on a base coat.
2) Polish Nails with the coral lacquer. Wait a minute for it to dry.
3) Grab the lighter blue and position the brush at one side of the nail, about a quarter inch above the base. Sweep the bristles diagonally across the surface.
4) Take the darker blue and repeat step 3 in the opposite side of the nail.
5) Finish all fingers, then apply a topcoat.

My note: Don't worry if you get any excess polish outside of your nails on your skin in the process, you can always clean up later with a nail polish remover. To make an even cleaner edge, dip a brush in nail polish remover and clean up.

If you switch directions of the triangle and sweep it diagonally from the center at the base of the nail toward the edge at the top of the nail, you will get a reverse effect. This one however might be easiest to achieve with the help of tape to avoid the mess:
Page 87, Sally Hansen ad, May 2013 In Style

Pop Art Puddles:
1) Start with a base coat.
2) Cover nails with the coral hue. Allow to dry about one minute.
3) Start with one shade; dip brush in polish, then lightly dab color onto different areas of your nail.
4) With the remaining two lacquers, repeat Step 3.
5) After decorating fingers, put on a layer of topcoat.

My note: I think this fun nail art would add a really nice pop to your plain manicure if you do it as an accent on one or two of your nails per hand. 

Here is a variation of the "Puddles", but instead of irregular shapes, this one requires a dotting tool (or tips of a bobbi pin, or slightly blunted No. 2 pencil tips, or toothpicks...the list goes on and on):

Page 87, Sally Hansen ad, May 2013 In Style

New Moon:
1) Apply a base coat.
2) Paint nails with the light pink. Let dry about one minute.
3) Take the deeper coral tone and place the brush at the lower left corner at the base of the nail. Glide it diagonally across the surface.
4) Place the brush at the lower right corner and drag it diagonally across to the upper left.
5) When you've completed all fingers, add a topcoat.

My note: The V-shape at the base of the nails look so subtle yet elegant. I would also love to try this with two neutral tones for a twist of the French Manicure. 

Here are two variations of the "New Moon" that I spotted in the March 2013 of "In Style" (page 190):

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Givenchy Le Rouge Lipstick in 103 Brun Creatéur

I spotted the Givenchy Le Rouge lipstick being featured in the April 2013 "In Style" magazine (page 102), and remembered I still haven't blogged about my new favorite lipstick -- Givenchy Le Rouge Lipstick in 103 Brun Createur.

According to the description, each full sized lipstick is encased in real leather, textured lambskin to be exact. It is a semi-matte formula that comes in 12 different shades.

I was lucky enough to score a deluxe sample of the lipstick in shade 103 Brun Createur for 100 Sephora Beauty Insider points back in April, but I heard the sample ran out very quickly -- I can totally imagine, this was definitely one of the good 100-point rewards.

Of course my sample did not come encased in leather, but it still came neatly packaged in a nice sturdy black box, and the lipstick sample itself is wrapped in plastic and then in tissue paper. I regretted not picking up more when I had the chance, as this would make such a cute little stocking stuffer.

Shade 103 Brun Createur is described as a dusty rose. Upon first swatch, I fell in love with both the lipstick formula and the shade.

It is a nice rosy MLBB (my lips but better) shade that is suitable for everyday, it shows up really nice and pretty in pictures. Besides its nice pigmentation, I also love its semi-matte finish, there are no sparkles or glitters in this shade, and it is not too matte either that it dries out the lips. It feels light-weight on the lips and has long lasting power that doesn't bleed or feature over time.

Below are my lip swatches, with a picture of my bare lips without any products on as comparison:
Bare Lips
Givenchy Le Rouge (103 Brun Createur)
Givenchy Le Rouge (103 Brun Createur)